PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Ashley”

As is customary on Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week it’s Ashley, a cheese loving sales assistant looking for any new lunch suggestions.

Name: Ashley

Age: 27

Occupation: Brokerage Sales Assistant

Where in Philly do you Work?: Center City East

Favorite Kind of Food: I love everything but am partial to food with tons of flavor, particularly Thai (just discovered Pho Xe Lua Viet Thai @ Race and Vine), Chinese (Terryin @ E Snyder and 4th St has amazing Orange Chicken), Vietnamese (Vietnam @ 11th and Vine), and Indian (Palace at the Ben @ Chestnut and 9th, Ekta). I love pasta, it’s a comfort food I make all the time, especially fettuccini carbonara (Pietro’s Pizzeria makes the best!). I’m also a huge cheese addict and find myself buying as much manchego cheese that I can afford at Downtown Cheese Shop in Reading Terminal. My boyfriend and I recently discovered Quince Fine Foods. They make a cured pork loin and manchego sandwich on fresh baguette with a fig jam to order! I wish I worked in the Northern Liberties/Fishtown area. Lots of wonderful places to eat around there. Oh, and raw avocados with a little salt and pepper. I just bought a handful from Iovine’s. They were on sale for $1!

Least Favorite Kind of Food: This would have been a much easier question to ask if I was younger, for I was such a picky eater growing up. Nowadays, I’ll try anything. I’ve become such a foodie. But if I had to name a least favorite, I guess I would say raw celery? Something about it still makes my stomach turn. Perhaps it’s the texture. I’m not sure.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: The burrito specials at Santa Fe Burrito are great. Freshly made and affordable ($5, including drink). Falafel and Feta wrap from Sahara Grill (on 13th and Walnut). Amazingly fresh and flavorful falafel with yummy hummus and feta. Homemade soup from Grocery. Chicken and Potato Curry from Pho Xe Lua Viet Thai. The lunch specials at McGillin’s (on Drury St, near 13th) are great. Last time I lunched there, I had a stuffed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and green beans. It was like eating something my mom would make. Inexpensive as well. And the Volcano roll at VIC (on 20th and Sanson). Simply amazing!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Santa Fe burrito hardly gets old. McGillan’s is also a favorite. If it’s a nice day, I’ll walk to Nanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House or Pho Xe Lua Viet Thai.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Portland. I’ve never been but they seem to have an amazing food scene there. Lots of creative food trucks and donuts! I know this from watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations as well as

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Basically, where’s your favorite place to lunch?! I’m always curious to find new places to eat.

I am definitely with you on Sahara Grill! Didn’t realize McGillin’s had good lunches, has anyone else had lunch there? If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



  • You, lady, know how to treat an avocado.

    Portland (Oregon, I assume?) may be the best pound-for-pound food city in the country. I actually thought the No Reservations didn’t do it justice, but Bourdain has rightly praised places like Pok Pok off the show. And Apizza Scholls is pretty legit. If you ever visit be sure to check out some Bosnian, Russian, and Vietnamese. Don’t forget a Spanish Coffee at Hubers.

  • Yes! Portland, Oregon. Thanks for the suggestions :)

  • It’s hard for me to resist buying a hunk of machego when I’m out and about.

    Anyone know what causes that musty/oniony/garlicky flavor at the rind, and is the rind safe to consume? I’m not referring to thin brown crosshatched wax on the outside that peels off, I mean that layer that’s a bit more dense towards the edge of the cheese.

    I think I’ll go make a grilled manchego and ham sandwich now.

  • I’m not sure what causes it but I know it’s safe to consume. Giada De Laurentiis was cooking homemade chicken soup on one of her latest episodes and utilized the rind of parmesan in the stock.

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